Fixing Nintendo Switch Controller Drift

A common issue that many Nintendo Switch users encounter is controller drift. This happens when the joystick on a controller registers movement even when it’s not being touched. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to address this problem. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fix Nintendo Switch controller drift.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

Make sure the issue you’re experiencing is indeed controller drift. This usually presents as your character moving on their own or the camera panning without input. You can confirm it’s a drift issue by releasing the joystick and watching to see if there’s any movement on the screen.

Step 2: Update Your Controller

Sometimes, updating your controller can fix the drift issue. To update your controller, go to ‘System Settings’ > ‘Controllers and Sensors’ > ‘Update Controllers’. If an update is available, your Switch will download and install it.

Step 3: Calibrate Your Controller

Next, try calibrating your controller. Go to ‘System Settings’ > ‘Controllers and Sensors’ > ‘Calibrate Control Sticks’. Press down on the joystick that’s drifting, then follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 4: Clean Your Joystick

If updating and calibrating your controller didn’t work, it’s possible that dust or debris could be causing the problem.

Use a can of compressed air to blow around the base of the joystick. This can dislodge any debris that might be interfering with the joystick’s movement.
If that doesn’t work, you can also try using a small amount of isopropyl alcohol (70% or higher). Dab a cotton swab with alcohol and gently clean around the base of the joystick. Wait for the alcohol to dry completely before using your controller again.

Step 5: Contact Nintendo Support

If none of the above solutions worked, it’s time to reach out to Nintendo Support. They offer free repairs for Joy-Con drift within certain regions, so it’s worth getting in touch to see if you’re eligible.

Keep in mind that you should avoid trying to open the Joy-Con yourself, as this could void your warranty and potentially cause more damage. It’s always best to contact Nintendo Support or a professional repair service if you’re unsure.

Remember, while this guide provides steps to help fix a drifting controller, it may not work for all cases, especially if there is an underlying hardware issue. Always consult with professionals when in doubt to avoid further complications.

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